The Association of Latvian Banks is an organization that unites banks registered in Latvia and branches of foreign banks on a voluntary basis. The aim of the Association is to strengthen and develop the Latvian banking system.
The Association was founded at the end of the last century, and it is one of the oldest business organizations in Latvia. It represents the interests of banks in various level institutions and coordinates the solving of common bank problems, as well as provides advisory assistance to its members.
The Association participates in the improvement of banking legislation and the overall business legal environment. The Association defends the rights and interests of its members and solves their problems. Support is also provided in the development of the regulation of pension funds and investment funds.
Strengthening of corporate management and responsibility
The Association promotes the implementation of the principles of good bank management in accordance with the latest international requirements. In order to promote high operational standards, the Association has developed the “Banking Code of Conduct”. This significant work is devoted to the constant improvement of operational compliance principles and promotion of common understanding.
Compliance with consumer rights
The Association defends fair and open relations between banks and their clients. For this reason, the Ombudsman has been appointed, which examines complaints from clients of credit institutions. An Arbitration Court has also been established, which can resolve disputes related to the provision of financial services, as well as other commercial banking issues. The Association cooperates with the Consumer Rights Protection Centre (PTAC) and the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK) in matters related to informing bank customers and protecting their rights.
Execution of common bank projects
The Association is ready to coordinate the creation of common bank projects, the promotion of good practices, and the introduction of new initiatives. In support of the SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) project, a SEPA implementation plan in the Latvian banking sector has been developed.
Recommendations and standards for banking services are also being prepared, such as Guidelines for risk reduction in the use of payment cards, Unified principles for switching current accounts of natural persons (list of banks that comply with the unified principles), etc.
Prevention of money laundering
The Association, in cooperation with its members, performs important work in the ongoing improvement of the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing in cooperation with Latvian and foreign, especially US state institutions and financial institutions. Industry recommendations are developed and the implementation of the appropriate “Know your customer” policy in commercial banks is promoted. The Association promotes the implementation of good practices by organizing international conferences and seminars, special courses for commercial bank employees, and engages in other key activities of foreign partners to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.
Statistics and analytical materials
In order to provide broad analytical information about the banking sector in Latvia, the Association collects and publishes information on the main indicators of banking activity. An economical and thematic review is also being prepared, and a review of pension funds which analyses investment returns, strategy, and other aspects, is also published.